Chapter 668: Chapter 668 – Not a battle outfit, but a disguise
Translator: Exodus Tales Editor: Exodus Tales
Yunduan City’s Vigilante Corps Chambers looked to be an exact model replica that was carved out in the same way as the one in Xiawu City, and there were a bunch of soldiers and someone that looked to be the captain of the corps present in full battle order in the office, during the city’s state of emergency! The moment that Gu Fei stepped into the room, the captain stood up from his seat, “Thousand Miles Drunk, you’re here!!”
In the game, when an NPC initiated a conversation with a player, that meant that there was a quest being offered. After all, there were countless NPCs around, inside and outside the city. It would take players far too much time if they were expected to approach every one of them asking “Hello, may I ask if you need any help?” That was why, for most quests, the NPCs were programmed to make the move to talk to a player the moment they were nearby, so players who were familiar with this immediately realized that there was more than meets the eye.
However, most NPCs would not approach the player for daily quests or Bounty Missions, so now that the Vigilante Corps captain had opened his mouth, it seemed like this must have been something that the game company had specially arranged. It was with that thought that Gu Fei came forward in a hurry and answered the NPC, “I’m here.”
“Yunduan City is currently being attacked by a peasant uprising, and as a member of the Vigilante Corps, you should also be raising your weapon to protect your homeland!” The captain of the Vigilante Corps spoke with earnest verbosity.
Gu Fei was stunned. It seemed like the mystery regarding his Faction was about to be revealed, and it felt like this Vigilante Corps was quite a powerful Faction. But he had caused trouble over in Xiawu City and had even ended up having a hand in killing the captain in that city. How would that affect the system and Faction? Could it be that because he had not been the person who dealt the killing blow, the captain’s death was not considered his kill? That did not seem to be the rules that Parallel World went by when fighting monsters! The first to tag the monster, the damage dealt throughout the process of fighting the monster, and the one who dealt the killing blow; these three factors were all considered to determine culpability, and Gu Fei should most definitely be the one responsible going by this logic.
However, it did not seem like there were any repercussions from his involvement currently. It was clear that the Vigilante Corps did not consider Gu Fei to be a stranger and after he expressed his interest in obeying the call to arms by his Faction, the captain of the Vigilante Corps handed him his quest, “Presently, there is a peasant mob who have kidnapped Yunduan City’s Master Civil Engineer, Guillermo, wanting to utilize his talents to destroy our city’s defenses. With how the city guards are all stretched thin in the defense of the city, the task of rescuing him had been handed on to the Vigilante Corps to accomplish. Thousand Miles Drunk, go. Stop their scheme and rescue Guillermo from their clutches!”
Gu Fei heard what the NPC said and the meaning of its words. The Vigilante Corps and the city guards were two different organizations, and this mission calling him to stop the peasant mob was referring to the players, right? It would be endless fun going up against players! Gu Fei loved PK-ing players, so he very happily accepted the quest.
“According to our intel, Guillermo is currently held in this location. Head on out, bring some men along and go save them!!” the captain said.
“Bring some men?” Gu Fei was confused. There were only two other players in the city right now, Sword Demon and Ray. How was he going to bring some men? He was contemplating this when the captain sent him off with some parting words, “I wish you good luck!”
There was no need to be courteous to NPCs, so Gu Fei left the room without even saying goodbye, but who would have thought that he would soon hear footsteps following behind him. Gu Fei turned around and realized that four soldiers inside the Vigilante Corps Chamber had followed him out.
Gu Fei did not put much thought into this. It was when he reached the main hall of the building that he noticed the four soldiers were still right behind him, which caused Gu Fei to wonder in his puzzlement, “Why are you following me?”
“Rescue Guillermo!” The four men saluted in unison, respectfully answering.
So there really were ‘men’ to bring along! To think that I would be given these four NPCs, what was the term used? Pets? Gu Fei was not too familiar with games, so he had regarded these four random soldiers as pets.
However, these pets did not make Gu Fei feel happy one bit. He felt that the four soldiers he had gotten as helpers tagging along had instead increased the difficulty of his quest. Going by Gu Fei’s line of thinking, the players outside the city had no idea that he was an enemy, so that meant he could openly move in their midst without fear of standing out. But now that he had these four NPCs in tow, would he not become a walking target for everyone’s attention? But thinking of it in another way, most people might not even think that he was the one bringing these four soldiers along! When it was time for them to mix into the crowd, those players were free to attack these NPCs all they want. Gu Fei would just leave the four soldiers to fend for themselves!
Thankfully, the soldiers were just NPCs sent by the system that had no minds of their own, as any human would probably be infuriated if they learned of how Gu Fei regarded them. Forget about how they were putting their lives on the line following Gu Fei, he had almost immediately made up his mind to be unconcerned with their fates!
As Gu Fei departed from the City Hall, he sent a message to Sword Demon, “I got my quest. How are things outside? Have they fought yet?”
“Nope. What quest did you get?” Sword Demon asked.
“A rescue mission. They even gave me some helpers,” Gu Fei said.
“What helpers?” Sword Demon asked.
“Four soldiers!” Gu Fei said.
“So there’s actually such a thing. Quick, come on over so I can have a look,” There were often quests where the system assigns an NPC to follow players, like the guild quest chain that Traversing Four Seas had gotten themselves, which could be considered as an escort quest! But Sword Demon had never heard of the system sending NPCs that helped players fight, and it had even assigned Gu Fei four of them to boot.
The two met up with each other in the city with the four soldiers following Gu Fei in step. When Gu Fei came to a halt and spoke with Sword Demon, the four NPCs stood in a square right behind him, standing in formation all well-disciplined.
“Are these the four soldiers? Heh, how refreshing. I’ve never heard about this,” Sword Demon stepped forward and curiously examined the NPCs. The four soldiers were perpetually lacking in any sort of emotive intelligence, so none of them cared about being under scrutiny.
“We gotta hurry up, there’s a timer for my quest!” The moment that Gu Fei stepped out of the door after he picked up the quest was when a two-hour countdown appeared. With how big the maps are in Parallel World, just traveling about in the game took up plenty of time, so the two hours he was given was not too long at all.
“Where are we going to mount the rescue?” Sword Demon asked.
The captain was thorough in being of service, having provided both the coordinates and a map. The latter was not particularly helpful, but the former was crucial, allowing Gu Fei to pass the set of coordinates to Sword Demon, who checked and saw the location was quite a distance away. He nodded rapidly, “Time is of the essence, I shall go along with you!” Sword Demon did not have a chance finding White and Black just waiting around here, so he had nothing to do at the moment.
“Is the north gate still devoid of any movement from the other players?” Gu Fei asked.
“Then we can’t go out from there! It’ll be far too obvious. We’ll have to go scope out the other three gates,” Gu Fei continued.
“The west gate would be the nearest one to the coordinates you gave me, so let’s head over and take a look!” Sword Demon suggested.
These two men made their way toward the west gate, as Sword Demon expressed his amazement about the four Vigilante following him.
“Those four following you. I wonder just what are they capable of in combat?” Sword Demon asked.
“Let’s give it a try,” Gu Fei said.
“Just how do we do that?” Sword Demon asked.
Gu Fei pointed straight at Sword Demon, “Attack!”
The NPCs were very obedient. Once they heard Gu Fei’s command, each of them immediately pulled out their sword and bolted right toward Sword Demon, even as Gu Fei laughed from the sidelines, “You’ll give them a crack.”
Sword Demon was frantic by the suddenness of the assault, quickly dodging two attacks even as he shouted, “How am I gonna have a go at them!? What’s going to happen if I kill them?”
“Then you managed to kill them. They are just gonna be a burden if I bring them out anyway, so why not see how far you’ve improved in these past few days?” Gu Fei decided.
Sword Demon instantly perked up when he heard this. He had been fighting monsters as per Gu Fei’s instructions these past few days, and he felt as if he was getting better and better. He might not be able to kill with any sort of efficiency fighting monsters in this manner, but Sword Demon could already see the huge changes it brought to him as far as his PK-ing went. Besides, his lack of grinding efficiency was all because he had yet to completely master everything. If he could reach Gu Fei’s level of mastery, his efficiency would surely be indomitable. How could Sword Demon still not see that the basis of the efficient monster grinding style was borne from this?
However, despite Sword Demon’s fighting spirit, he was currently only taking lessons in a 1v1 setting, while the difficulty of fighting against many opponents only increased exponentially. Sword Demon had once bravely pulled two monsters at once thinking to practice that he almost lost his life trying to learn. Later on, after spending many grueling days of practice, he had been planning on finding some time to begin practicing with two monsters a bit, and that was precisely what he got today, albeit it immediately jumped right up to four monsters all at once instead of two.
The four soldiers each have a measure of attack and defense, with the four standing in a square like before, surrounding Sword Demon right in the center. Their four swords came slashing right onto him in four different corners, Sword Demon had already tried his best and managed to avoid three of the slashes, though the fourth one struck true. Sword Demon had also deepened his understanding the more he learned these past few days, and he was already distinctly aware that it was simply too difficult for him to use this fighting style to take on four enemies, given his current level of expertise.
But there was no way he could give up after a single move, right? Sword Demon’s tenacity appeared once more, as he gritted his teeth and persevered on. Gu Fei was far more knowledgeable than him when it came to these sorts of fights, and he could already predict the general eventuality, so he signaled with his hand, “Stop attacking.”
The four soldiers immediately came to a stop. Sword Demon was looking at them stunned when Gu Fei quipped, “You can’t kill them, and we’ve still got a quest to complete, so let’s not waste any more time!”
Sword Demon was quite ashamed. The level of skill and dexterity that the NPCs possessed were just that, and when it came to their strength, most players would only regard them in terms of their data, such as the attack power, speed, HP, defense, and if they possessed any sort of unique ultimate skill and such. Even though Sword Demon had only exchanged blows with them for two rounds, he had ended up taking two cuts, and after he glimpsed at the damage he took, he concluded, “Their attack power is rather average, and their speed isn’t too fast either. I have no idea about their HP or defense… But just from the attack power and speed they demonstrated, they possess the strength of an ordinary monster!”
“Yeah. What? Did you expect the system to assign four NPCs as strong as the Shadowmist Assassins to me?” Gu Fei said.
“When I went over to the Thieves’ Union earlier today, I discovered that there was a secret location inside the Thieves’ Union because I am in a Faction, and it was an area reserved for the League of Assassins. There were all sorts of NPC Assassins inside, with one even looking extremely like the Shadowmist Assassin,” Sword Demon said.
“He could not possibly be the same one that wrote the diary, right?” Gu Fei wondered.
“That guy… He’s most probably still lost back in Xiawu City!” Sword Demon chuckled.
The two chatted and soon found themselves walking right out of the west gate. The west gate was completely different from the north gate, where Oathless Sword and Brave Surge had gathered the guilds. While some guilds had been willing to join forces with everyone at the expense of listening to a single commander for this assault, there were some who rather preferred to continue to hold onto their independence. The guilds who were unwilling to cooperate were mostly the small and medium-sized guilds. This was because these people all clearly understood that even if the large guilds were collaborating, they would still be the ones holding most of the authority and position. All the weaker guilds who went over would simply be relegated to listening to their orders and servicing their will. Plenty of them hated this sort of feeling, so they would rather be content with their little skirmishes and just have fun!
These players had a very casual attitude, and there were quite a good number of them. At the moment, the battle by the west gate was in full swing. Dead? So be it. Nobody suffered any penalties from dying, so they would just pop out of the spawn point after repairing their equipment and join the fight again! These casual players paid the price of constantly dying over and over again, but that had indirectly mirrored the solution that Oathless Sword and those guild leaders had come up with. With the front rows dying, the next row would step up to replace the dead, continuing to grind down the NPCs since attrition was non-existent.
Meanwhile, all the things like the changing of the large rocks to the small stone ammunition from the trebuchet or the Assassins’ ambush had been unveiled in the process of their unending battle as well. When Gu Fei and Sword Demon stepped out of the west gate, the players on this side of the gate had managed to storm their way to the base of the city walls and succeeded in drawing out the guards positioned right under the walls to attack. Without a unified commander or an overall plan, these players had no idea if their assaults had caused the system’s defenses to falter. All they focused on was keeping up their relentless attack, having plenty of fun getting up and going back into the fray after dying each time.
Even though they had not officially discussed and formed any sort of partnership, all the players had managed to establish camaraderie and friendship through their shared fate. Seeing the player beside them take on the enemy, these players would all proactively help one another if they saw a chance to lend a hand. Everyone would share a laugh after it was over, not nitpicking over who each other was, much less being calculative when another party snatched contribution scores away from their guild.
Compared to the north gate, the players here in the west gate suffered more catastrophic casualty rates, but they had a jolly good time fighting. Because to them, they were still having fun whether they are dying or living.
“Wow, it’s so crowded out here!” Gu Fei exclaimed.
“Yeah! The north gate has someone disseminating orders and restricting the players from attacking. Conversely, despite the chaos out here, everyone seemed to be pretty happy,” Sword Demon said.
“It’s not easy to fight in such a state,” Gu Fei mused.
“Shall we find somewhere we can sneak by?” Sword Demon calculated the coordinates even as he checked the direction they should be going towards.
“Forget it, we’ll just charge into the crowd! If anyone attacks the four soldiers, we’ll just pretend we don’t know them,” Gu Fei said.
‘Why?” Sword Demon said.
“Those four will just expose us as the enemy! Bringing them along will be too tiresome,” Gu Fei explained.
“That’s too much of a waste,” Sword Demon enjoyed experiencing the fun that the game had to offer. It was rare to get four NPCs following their orders, so he was rather reluctant just casually sacrificing them like this. He mulled over it for a bit before saying, “Do you think we can disguise them?”
“How do we disguise them?”
“Look at the NPC soldiers; Honestly, the reason why people could tell they are NPC in a single glance is mainly because of their equipment, far too eye-catching uniform. I feel like players won’t be able to tell they are NPCs once we mix and match their pieces a little,” Sword Demon said.
“Can we even do that?” Gu Fei was skeptical.
“Order them to take off their equipment. Let’s see if they obey your order,” Sword Demon said.
Gu Fei immediately gave the command, “Remove your armor!”
The four NPC soldiers very obediently took off their armor from head to toe, each of them now dressed in their form fitting undergarments.
“You can do it!” Gu Fei was astonished. “Quick, hand them whatever equipment to wear!”
“Wait a minute!” Sword Demon ran off in a huff. The Warehouse was very near the city gate, so Sword Demon had quite a few sets of equipment stored in there. Thus, gathering the necessary pieces for the four was hardly an issue. This was a disguise, not a battle outfit, so it was fine leaving their accessory slots empty.
The four soldiers listened to Gu Fei’s arrangement and donned the equipment that Sword Demon had gotten for them. Sure enough, they no longer looked like NPCs after changing, and in a glance, they were just two Thieves, a Warrior, and a Priest. They looked just like any other player out there.
“I wonder what amazing equipment these NPCs have!” Sword Demon wondered, as he went and picked up the equipment that the soldiers had changed out of. At the same time, he cautiously kept his eye on them, worried that players like them might not be allowed to touch their equipment.
In the end, the soldiers completely ignored Sword Demon. He got excited the moment he took a look at the armor he picked up, “F*ck me, these are all set equipment!!! A five-item set!”
The NPCs’ actually each had a full set of green tier equipment; the helmet, breastplate, belt, greaves, and gloves made up the 5 items in the set, and just that four rows of additional traits being active was enough to elicit great excitement in people. No player out there that had equipment set with so many pieces! Just as Sword Demon was getting all worked up over this, he suddenly saw a row of words in the equipment description: [Quest item. Unable to be equipped.]
“F*CK!” It was the most disappointing revelation, and when Gu Fei came over to take a look for himself, Sword Demon had placed the pieces of equipment back on the ground.
“Keep your equipment,” Gu Fei tried to give out this order.
These soldiers were all very clever, quickly utilizing the pockets found in the players’ equipment as they stored the pieces of armor away into their pockets.
“That looks to be about it. I think we can blend ourselves into the crowd at this rate, let’s go!” Gu Fei said.
The two men and four NPCs ran out of the gate together, very quickly blending into the midst of the intense confrontation between the players and the NPC guards. With the chaotic battle engaged in a full-on melee struggle, the trebuchets up on the city walls had already stopped firing, and the Mages were no longer casting AoE spells either, only engaging in a bit of light ranged harassment as they stood together with the Archers up on the battlements.
Everything was as what Gu Fei had expected. The NPC guards did not attack this party of six at all, treating them as one of their own. At the same time, the players saw Gu Fei and his group to be comrades in this battle, so nobody stepped up to trouble them either. Some players who happened to see the six men running off in the opposite direction even thought they were being subjected to some fierce counterattack, so they leaped out and attempted to help cover their rear. The good Samaritans only ended up discovering that there was nothing giving chase, and only watched as those six continued to work their way through the crowd unerringly.
Because there was no organization behind the assault in the west gate, nobody thought twice when they saw the six weave through the crowd. The biggest ethos over by this side of the battlefield was the freedom to do whatever anyone wanted, and that included people fighting until they decide to run off to grind, instead.
Gu Fei and Sword Demon managed to make it through the entirety of the battlefield out by the west gate in a single go, and it was through this run that Sword Demon came to another conclusion, “The movement speed of these four NPCs aren’t slow!”
Gu Fei and Sword Demon were both players with exceptionally fast movement speed, but the four soldiers were the Warrior variant, yet were also able to keep up with ease, and that only demonstrated just how illogical the system was.
“Perhaps they are intentionally made to match my movement speed, so as to avoid me having to match their movement speed? That makes this less like an escort mission.” Gu Fei suggested.
“That makes sense,” Sword Demon nodded. He glanced to check on their current coordinates, and pointed in a certain direction, “It’s right over there. We’re reaching the site soon.”
“I have a feeling this might be similar to Competitive Quests, so there should be some players out there who had picked a quest on their end that requires them to use this Master Civil Engineer to attack the city, and my quest is to sabotage their quest.”
“Yeah, then we will have to be a little more careful as we get closer,” Sword Demon offered.
“What’s there to be afraid of? There’s surely no way that they would be able to guess that we would be their enemy,” Gu Fei said.
“Then we should keep our faces covered, otherwise we might end up exposing ourselves from this one attempt,” Sword Demon had quite the foresight.
“That’s quite cunning of you!” Gu Fei exclaimed.
Sword Demon was honest, “Bro, my quest isn’t done yet!”
So that’s what he was hung up about! Gu Fei chuckled, as he adopted his suggestion, taking out a cloth to cover his face. Upon thinking that a team should have a uniformed look, he flicked his wrist and ordered the four soldiers, “Cover your faces.”